According to Chart Data, Billboard is changing the way it calculates what counts for its Hot 100 chart.
“Billboard no longer ranks Artist Web Store (D2C) digital download singles in the Hot 100,” read a tweet from Chart Data, an analytics feed that closely monitors how digital music stats are changing from week to week develop week. Neither Billboard nor Luminate have confirmed the changes to the Hot 100 list.
“So the only thing that matters is mass radio and paid bot streams, the industry is evil fr,” read a comment in response to the policy change. “So the pieces only count on the platforms that the labels own a part of. They know what they’re doing.” reads other. “Changing the rules every two weeks is so frivolous of them,” reads another comment, which highlights a good point: Are Billboard charts still representative of the pulse of the music industry?
In May 2023, Billboard was produced changes on how “fan packs” count for the album charts this summer. The new combos of merch and albums must be a sweatshirt with an LP, or a t-shirt with a CD or other physical album — with no bundled inclusions like tickets, meet-or-greet opportunities, or other intangible perks like video game items or NFTs. The fan pack combination cannot be a physical merch item with a digital download – it does not count for the charts.
Album bundling has become standard practice to boost chart sales, but is controversial. Some executives say it skews popularity because the boxed items encourage fans to buy to support the fan base, not to support a good album. Billboard removed bundling from its charts in October 2020, but now the practice is back and rules are in place to address “chart skewing” concerns.
You know what skews the charts, Billboard? No downloads from artist websites as the internet is becoming more and more popular decided.